3-1 Worksheet: Cumulative Risk Model


For this assignment, you will read a scenario and apply the cumulative risk model to determine the potential cause of criminal behavior.

Please note: You will need to download the Cumulative Risk Model Worksheet Word Document and submit the document upon completion.

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2-2 Worksheet: Gathering Criminal Data


Instructions: Complete PART I and PART II below.


Instructions: Read through the scenario and respond to the questions below.

Lisa is accused of luring a group of men into a park, where they are attacked by a criminal street gang. She is also a gang member, and this is part of her initiation. She had a very strict upbringing and was physically abused by her older brother and father growing up. At age 13, she befriended some gang members who let her hang around with them. She started skipping school and committing petty crimes such as theft and burglary. Her gang got into a fight with a rival gang, and she was injured, requiring stitches and X-rays. A police report was filed, although no charges were brought against her.


Upon further investigation, you learn that Lisa was enrolled in several honors classes in her freshman year of high school before she started skipping school to be with her gang. In order to gain entrance to the honors classes, she was tested by the school psychologist for intelligence (IQ) and personality traits to determine the best fit for her academically. She had an IQ of 120, which is highly intelligent. Her personality traits, however, revealed that she was outgoing, quick to anger, had problems with authority, and charming with her peers. She was sent to the school counselor to help her with anger management but only attended three sessions before dropping out of school.


Using the Criminal Data Guide document and thinking about the cumulative risk model, respond to the following:


  1. What questions would you have asked to find out the information regarding Lisa’s school history?
  • Before she started skipping school, what were Lisa’s academic accomplishments?
  • Can you tell me more about the honors classes she was taking?
  • Did Lisa’s academic performance suffer as a result of her gang affiliation?
  • Has Lisa’s conduct or outlook on school changed in any obvious ways?
  • Has Lisa’s academic success or conduct been the subject of any concerns or observations from the school psychologist or counselor?
  1. What other types of information would be important to ask about to further investigate this case?
  • Accounts that detail Lisa’s affiliation with the gang, including any particular occurrences or illegal activity that she took part in.
  • Details concerning Lisa’s connections to gang members and the extent of her influence there.
  • Any prior run-ins or fights with the violent street gang that carried out the crime.
  • Background information about Lisa’s social and family life, including her interactions with her father and older brother and any other noteworthy events or tragedies.
  • Any previous counseling or therapy sessions or history of mental health difficulties
  1. Does Lisa’s IQ play a role in her behavior? Explain using psychological theories to support your response.

Lisa’s IQ may influence her conduct, but it’s crucial to realize that intelligence does not, by itself, cause or foretell criminal activity. According to psychological theories, intelligence has many facets, and certain facets of intelligence, such as problem-solving skills and social intelligence, can interact with other elements to affect behavior.

Her IQ of 120 suggests above-average intelligence in Lisa’s situation, which may have enabled her to flourish academically and possibly make alternative decisions. She may have been more significantly influenced by other personality traits and environmental circumstances, such as her extroverted temperament, authority issues, and gang environment exposure.

According to personality trait theories, people with specific characteristics, such as a short fuse, and issues with authority, may be more likely to engage in antisocial or delinquent behavior. As said, Lisa’s personality characteristics may have influenced her decision to join the gang and engage in illegal activity. However, it is essential to consider the intricate interplay between a person’s qualities, environmental effects, and situational elements while seeking to comprehend behavior.

  1. What role does Lisa’s age play in predicting her future criminal behavior? Are there developmental risk factors involved? Use psychological theories to support your rationale.

Since adolescence is a developmental stage linked to a higher risk for delinquency and antisocial behavior, Lisa’s age is crucial in predicting her future criminal activity. Developmental theories hold that most people who participate in negligence as adolescents will naturally give up crime when they enter adulthood. Examples of these beliefs are Moffitt’s thesis of adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent offenders.

There are extra risk factors in Lisa’s instance, though, which could influence her potential criminal behavior in the future. The risk of her continuing to be involved in criminal activity rises due to her gang connection, exposure to criminal activity, and prospective future gang membership. The cumulative risk model postulates that several risk factors, including a history of abuse, gang membership, and participation in criminal activity, can interact and increase the probability of future delinquency and criminal behavior.

  1. Based on psychological theories, what interventions might have prevented or reduced the likelihood of Lisa’s behavior?
  • The root causes of Lisa’s engagement with the gang may have been identified and treated through early intervention programs for at-risk adolescents. These initiatives may include mentoring, counseling, and support services designed to give her positive options and address the social and environmental risks she encountered.
  • Comprehensive school-based interventions emphasizing social skills training, anger management, and conflict resolution may have assisted Lisa in acquiring better-coping strategies and problem-solving skills.
  • Her family’s history of abuse may have been addressed in family therapy or counseling, opening up opportunities for healing, comprehension, and improved family relations.
  • After-school programs, extracurricular activities, and vocational training are examples of community-based programs that could have given Lisa constructive outlets for her energy, talents, and interests while refocusing her attention on productive and pro-social pursuits.
  • Approaches from restorative justice may have been used to alleviate the harm Lisa’s engagement in criminal activity caused. Reintegrating her into society constructively and responsibly would entail holding her accountable for her deeds while offering rehabilitation options, such as community service and victim-offender mediation.
  • The underlying emotional and psychological problems that led to Lisa’s engagement in criminal behavior could have been resolved with the aid of individual therapy or counseling that emphasized trauma, anger control, and impulse control. This approach would provide her with the abilities and assistance needed to end the cycle of violence and create better coping strategies.



Instructions: Read the scenario below and respond to the questions.

Grant is a 14-year-old male from a poor home. Both of his parents work opposite shifts to make ends meet. Since Grant is the oldest child, he is often tasked with watching his younger brother and sister. However, when his parents are home, they are frequently tired and unable to pay much meaningful attention to their kids. Grant has several friends at school that he is close to, and they are all in advanced placement classes. The school measured Grant’s IQ at 115, making him smarter than most of his peers. He really does not have to study much to get good grades, so he hangs out with two other friends and drinks alcohol with them. He is not well-liked by most of his peers, who make fun of him because he is tall, smart, and gangly in appearance. Sometimes, the only meal he eats is at school as part of the lunch program because his parents do not have the time to make dinner. Last week, he was arrested for hacking the school’s computer system to change a few grades for his friends. Although never charged, he also hacked into a chain of local gas stations’ computer systems and tried to change gas prices, mainly because he was bored.


Using the Criminal Data Guide document and thinking about the cumulative risk model, respond to the following:


  1. What risks does Grant have according to the cumulative risk model?
  2. Personal risk factors: Although high IQ is a strength, it can lead to risk-taking behavior if not used constructively. Furthermore, Grant is subjected to bullying and taunts because of his appearance, which might cause him to feel lonely and encourage him to participate in criminal activity to get attention or acceptance.
  3. Family risk factors: Grant is from a low-income family where his parents work different shifts, resulting in little parental supervision and care. This lack of parental participation could increase the chance of participating in delinquent behavior.
  4. Peer risk factors: Grant’s friends drink alcohol, which can encourage other dangerous behaviors. Furthermore, Grant is not highly loved by most of his peers, which may make him more susceptible to harmful peer pressure and probable involvement in antisocial behaviors.
  5. How might these risks be realistically reduced?
  6. Creating coping mechanisms: Given the difficulties Grant confronts, giving him coping mechanisms and resilience-building methods would be beneficial. In order to assist him in dealing with challenging situations more effectively, you might teach him proper problem-solving techniques, techniques for controlling his emotions, and ways to deal with stress.
  7. Academic and career possibilities: Grant’s intellectual potential can be positively channeled by giving him more academic challenges and opportunities that fit his skills and interests. He may feel a feeling of accomplishment and purpose from participating in mentoring programs or community projects using technology or computer science.
  • Access to resources: Grant’s food insecurity can be addressed by ensuring he has access to wholesome meals outside the classroom. Working together with neighborhood groups or food banks can help in this area. Grant’s emotional well-being can also be addressed by raising awareness of the services for mental health that are available and by offering channels for getting assistance.
  1. Positive peer engagement: Grant can develop healthy peer interactions and avoid hanging out with individuals who participate in dangerous behaviors by participating in structured extracurricular activities or organizations. He can find better role models and opportunities for personal development by creating a supportive social network.
  2. Increasing family support: Grant’s parents may be better able to spend more time with their kids if they can access resources and support, such as cheap childcare alternatives or help with work schedules. Parenting programs that improve parental abilities and communication can also be helpful.